The Chimes at Midnight
Thursday, December 31, 2009
 
on 9/12/2001
the congress of the United States gathered on the steps of the Capitol and sang "God Bless America", a touch of class a show of defiance perhaps.
A week after Northwest @53 nearly got blown up by a Al Queda Camp Follower, the GOP had it's fundraising letter ready.
Meanwhile that aging sickly mobster, Dick Cheney has screamed cowardice and worst at the Obama White House.
Class all the way eh?
When it was Cheney's crisis it was all about resolution and national unity, when Obama inherits though, then the knives come out.
Nothing else so perfectly encapsulates the self destructive dementia of the conservative right, bereft of ideas and desperate to exploit any opportunity they think at last they can simply scream their way back into power.
 
Snow Storm Shopping List....
Duly Blogged over at Channel Zero.
And don't let me forget to wish my audience (all seven of you and whoever comes a porch-climbing from the Red Mass Group) a Happy New Year.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
 
What did we learn this year...
As usual, damn near nothing.
The Chimes at Midnight stands a lonely watch at the outermost ramparts of civilization, unloved, unpaid, unbossed and largely unread. My chuief goal has been ideological warfare of a low and crude sort along with a certain amount of bloggable chaos to fill in those slow-ass Fridays.
We watched Obama assume power, some Somali piratesd got their skulls ventilated by the Delta Force, there was a beer summit, Sarah Palin wigged out and resigned,Teddy Kennedy sailed off this mortal coil, Tom Menino was somehow re-elected, John Kerry shook out his feathers a bit, Capuano and Khazei both made some new friends from out of town, Sotomayor got in and Joe Kennedy bailed out and all as a special election stalks the precincts...It was a long year, feels like a hundred quite frankly.
Oh and Senator Jim DeMint is an unmitigated ass-hole and a terrorist fellow traveller of the first rank.
That is what I learned in 2009.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
 
Fifty years ago...
Doctor Tom Coburn would have been classified a local nutbag. A serial writers of outraged letters to the editor, a signatory on numerous petitions decrying communism, flouridation of drinking water and other shopworn causes. His waiting room would be strewn with badly mimeographed pamphlets from borderline psychotics and most of his patients would know from long experience not to bring up any topics remotely related to national, state or local politics.
But because the last fifty years in this country is all about making the residents of Crazy Street USA seem safe and respectable, Dr. Coburn sits in the US Senate howling like witch doctor with a stubbed toe at the current health care reform bill.
He is against evolution even though he can observe it in a microscope with a sample of tuberculosis on a slide, wants to execute abortion doctors (it has been rumored that he has performed a few as a young MD) and honestly thinks we have the Best Health Care System in the World.
There he sits at the table though, a player, glowering with ill disgusied hatred for his colleagues and indeed this whole democratic folderol...
Monday, December 28, 2009
 
D' ye mean to tell me...
that the vicious little dingbat what tried to blow up the airliner paid cash for his ticket?
Dear Ghod I work for an insurance company, someone tries to pay cash for a policy and alarm klaxons sound from Toronto to Tierra Del Fuego! Hell the President of the company breaks out his trusty blackjack and starts prowling the halls thinking at least he'll get some payback on the alleged cash loving money launderers.
AND the would be alleged killer geek was from Nigeria...Which is a whole country that is as wide open as Buddy Cianci's Providence! Hell the rumor is, Buddy has retired there to run a horrifically overpriced nursing home for unwary snowbirds from Warwick.
And to crown all WE WERE WARNED free and clear by the kid's fretful father!
All together is this what the old misanthrope would call "a grand cluster f***" no doubt about it.
Y'know, Ghod Bless America, since 1776 we are more than willing to revolve ourselves into any sort of a biffsquad necessary to master a particularly diresome situation. So it was at the crossing of the Delaware down to the passengers on Northwestern 253, US Citizens never hesitate.
What we are not good at, and have never been good at, is getting the right info into the right hands at the right time. So if we wanna prevent incidents like this in the future we are gonna need to revamp how we traffick in and prioritize all the tip offs we got leading up to the moment that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab undid his seat belt and tried to get close to Ghod by way of plastic explosives.
Thank Jebus no one was killed thus we can still use this as teachable moment and an impetus to real reform for a system that has already become bloated & unresponsive after a mere eight years.
Have at it Barack this is your moment.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
 
The H Word
Before Jeff Jacoby gets on his high horse and starts braying sanctimoniously about Martha Coakley's "hypocritical" refusal to meet Scott Brown in one on one debate he ought to make sure that Citizen Brown hasn't done just exactly the same thing as a candidate for re-election to the State Senate.
Frankly the weapon of hypocrisy is best kept out of the hands of clumsy paid professionals like Jeff Jacoby, it should only be wielded by unbought, unbossed and unread bloggers like Humble Elias...Safer that way for all concerned.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009
 
T and Venom
A long prophesied derailment (thankfully sans injury) shuts the Red Line down good and proper tonight, and Zolok has clearly had enough of it all.
Governor Patrick?
Are you listening?

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Josh Marshall seems to have
a strong handle on the HCR reform trend in Congress.

As such I have nothing to add at the moment, seems like he has called it accurately "Pass and be damned" being the dominant motif.
Monday, December 21, 2009
 
The state legislature has...
fled Beacon Hill in advance of the holidays leaving a pile of unfinished business atop their "in-trays" and leaving Governor Patrick to make the usual end of the quarter cuts to keep the budget in balance.
Wouldn't it be funny if the Governor planted a "sold" sign from Coldwater Bankers on the lawn of the State House with a note taped to the door that reads "Welcome back, had to keep her in the black the hard way, please convene in the utility room at the BPL, will advise via US Mail".
Sunday, December 20, 2009
 
Whatever happened to....
the thriving Jewish community of Yemen?
They got driven out in what amounts to a pogrom.

And it is the same thing that happened to the once thriving Jewish communities in Egypt, Iraq, Iran etc etc etc.
Driven out the lot of them.
I don't usually blog about the Middle East and its many many problems, but I will duly note that we should not be surprised that a Jew should want to defend his own sovereignty at least as tenaciously as the average Pashtun, Kurd or Sunni' yeoman.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
 
"Kill the Bill"?
Nonsense, rubbish it is playing into the hands of an otherwise beaten and discredited movement conservatism.
Attenuated though the Senate HCR bill may be, it should still be based as an acceptable and aggressive way to move the ball forward. Teddy Kennedy would vote for on that basis alone.
I know, you are all baying for Joe Lieberman's head on a pikestaff, but I could've told you a full year ago that he'd act as such given just half a chance. Alas the internal demographics of the Senate favor his obstructionism and hypocritical troublemaking.
Let us act to change that, alter those numbers and we alter the outcome on the next go-around.
And sadly thanks to Joe and the Two Weird Sisters from Maine, we will have to revisit HCR again and perhaps again and on terms less advantageous to the American people than we have on offer now.
The worst possible thing that is happening in this debate right now is the division of some progressives from the White House, tactically this is a political catastrophe, they will not have a better negotiating partner than Barack Obama in the White House again in their lifetimes.
I say pass HCR and cram it down the GOP's throats, they had power to put Peter the Great to shame for eight years and what did that yield up for the American People, NOTHING!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
 
Apropos of nothing
but Oral Roberts is dead, which made me wonder why faith-healers cannot cure themselves of their own insanity?
Sure they can auto suggest a temporary remission in some poor schmuck's crippling arthritis, but can they heal their own megalomania?
For that fact why do they even die?
I mean can't they cure their own old age?
Make themselves immortal....
Ever seen a stack of glass eyeballs or a pile of prosthetic legs at Benny Hinn revival?
Someone?
Anyone?
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
 
Forget politics
(for a few minutes), lean back, close your eyes and dream of the glorious Peterhof in high summer along the Baltic.
Monday, December 14, 2009
 
Oh Great...
Brian McGrory is returning to the Metro columnist beat for the Boston Globe, just in time for the 2010 gubernatorial election.
Won-der-ful, he'll be down on his knees kissing the feet of Charlie Baker by April, proclaiming the former Weld Admin time server as the moderate GOP Messiah.
Watch for it, Brian believe in one thing fervently, that moderate republicanism must rule the world, and if a moderate republican isn't available then just pretend the reactionary crooks and weirdoes in power are steadfast and honest middle of the roaders.
 
Sad news from the ramparts of Boston Politics
It is my sad duty to report the death of the former President of the Boston City Council, Joseph M. "Sonny" Tierney.
I had some dealings with him back when I was a wee Justin (we have an Aunt in common)and he was helpful, kind and honest.
Money seemed to be Sonny's big issue in politics, he never seemed to be able to raise enough to break into the big time, a run for congress foundered in the democratic primary for want of cashola and his run for Mayor against then incumbent Ray Flynn was honorable and short funded.
He was however a raconteur of no small ability, when I last saw him about a year ago he looked fit as a fiddle and ready for any deed, full of stories and energy.
So the loss is a bit sudden and shocking.

My thoughts are with his family....
Sunday, December 13, 2009
 
"He is makin' a list, and checkin' it twice..."
Jeff Jacoby started out with Tiger Wood today, segued into the allegedly death of racism in America and ended up riding his favorite battered hobby horse ergo "liberal hate speech".
Which reminds me, the end of the year loometh, and Jeff's annual compendium of liberal hate speech has yet to run.
More to the point, what do I have to say or do to get on that list???
I mean c'mon, the Blue Mass Group gets all kinds of props these days, the Left Ahead Podcast is going great guns, Lynne Lupien is officially a force to be reckoned with in Lowell...And the Chimes at Midnight?
BUPKISS I GOT!
The least anyone could do is snitch me out to Jacoby, I could use the ink...

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Saturday, December 12, 2009
 
The Lowell Sun is reporting
that former Mayor Eileen Donoghue turned down a invitation to be independent candidate for governor Tim Cahill's running mate.
Apparently she wants Martha Coakley's current job...
Well health to her candidacy and all like that, Donoghue ran a pretty good race against Nikki Tsongas for the congressional seat up there, the fundraising needed to run statewide for AG has to be a bit of a poser though.
In-ter-esting notion on Cahill's part, clearly he was thinking outside the box with a female running mate. If he was set on this idea though, what reasonable (or even unreasonable) female pol in Massachusetts would be willing to break with their party to run as his Lt. Governor designate?
Hmmmm.
All I can say is, it doesn't have to a democrat...Said designate merely needs to be a registered independent as of January 2010.
Again...Hmmmm.

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Friday, December 11, 2009
 
How many times in the past twenty years has
Scot Lehigh written this paragraph (which appears in his column from today's Globe):

Baker can plausibly cast himself as a socially liberal, fiscally moderate Republican in the Bill Weld mold...

as opposed to:
Romney can plausibly cast himself as a socially liberal, fiscally moderate Republican in the Bill Weld mold...

As opposed to:
Jane Swiftcan plausibly cast herself as a socially liberal, fiscally moderate Republican in the Bill Weld mold...

Paul Celluccican plausibly cast himself as a socially liberal, fiscally moderate Republican in the Bill Weld mold...

em> Bill Weldcan plausibly cast himself as a socially liberal, fiscally moderate Republican in the Bill Weld mold...


Honestly, "moderate republicanism" is nothing but a celebrity racket...columnistas like Lehigh porject their middle-of-the-road GOP fantasies onto almost any dubious passer-by and then fall to their knees in sheer worship.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
 
I'm not quite sure but I think...
that just possibly Joanie Vennochi is pleased with Martha Coakley's nomination for the US Senate.
I can't quite penetrate the Globe Columnist's inevitable snarkage and score settled to be 100% sure though.
Well what of it? Since Denver the local Hillary Clinton faction has been on a tear looking for offices to grab off, now we are about to find out if they can force a favorable decision in a statewide general election.
Yesterday Scott "The Fag Basher" Brown fairly ran up the aisle to sign a "no new taxes" pledge apparently in the curious belief that the campaign tactics of George Bush Sr. are sure fire in the Bay State.
And so once again, for the Glory of the Commonwealth it is Game On.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
 
Tomorrow Belongs to She...
Congrats to AG Martha Coakley who swept the boards last night and handily seized the nomination for the US Senate. Of course, Humble Elias got the numbers wrong, I figures a three to five point spread not the monster twenty point lead Coakley eventually rolled up...Ah well there is something to said for having a good reputation, many friends and a calm unruffled senatorial demeanor.
Now if, Citizen Coakley wanted to stir things up a bit she could do some campaigning up in the South End and highlighted her commitment to gender equality of all shapes-n-sizes, cuz that would seem to be a sizable gap in Scott Brown's moderate GOP street cred.
Just to muss that perfect hair of Candidate Brown's..Make all the moderate GOP marks out there think twice.

***
BTW since I was one of the few local li-ber-al type bloggers (y'know those cellar dwellers who give Howie Carr the screaming bed spins)who came out for Coakley...Shouldn't someone at least buy me a drink or something? I mean I marked out HARD for Martha Coakley, couldn't someone get a voucher and buy me a brandy?
It's cold out there, these bones of mine don't warm up too easy.
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
 
Austerlitz at High Noon....
The great Massachusetts Senatorial Steamroller Fight lumbers on and on for a cold cold day in December.
Rhetorically, the best fights were between Capuano and Pagliuca, but I'm wondering if the real election day threat isn't from Khazei. If Alan has a good day if his ground game is in "believe the hype" territory, then that can't be good news for Capuano.
Seems to me, the vote in this primary skews liberal so anyone who is turned off by Coakley/Capuano pretty much has a cozy place by the fire prepped for them by Alan Khazei.
If Alan has a good day then that makes it that much more difficult for Mike to overtake Martha.
The wild card remain Pagliuca who lacks a measurable constituency within the party at this writing. Maybe all those adverts can grab off a good chunk of the turnout...But who exactly that'll be remains a mystery.
My guess is, it'll be Coakley by no more than five percent likely three percent if the wind remains in her sails.
Capuano will run a tight second with Khazei crowding him hard and Pags running a distant fourth.
The winner is Martha Coakley who takes giant step towards upending the torpid gender politics of the Commonwealth...but there may be other successes as well tonight:
Win or lose, Mike Capuano has boostrapped himself off the Somerville School Committee and onto the Commonwealth's A-list for Liberals...in a state FULL of liberals this is no small achievement.
Alan Khazei has similarly built up a good deal of electoral goodwill and name recognition assuming he wants to go forward into a different race. On the other hand, he may come to his senses and decide that saving the world is best accomplished outside elective office.
Steve Pagliuca ...? Waaal he has got some name recognition for the money he spent, but its hard to see what constituency he can collect on given his rhetorical limitations. That having been said if he can run some good numbers tonight expect to see him around in races going forward.
Well, thems my pre-dictions, if I'm write, yay for Elias, if I'm wrong I've still got preemo copy for tomorrow.
Blogging, it's a win-win gig every day.

Oh wait I almost forgot, Go Coakley, Humble Elias is Madly for Martha!
 
Well I was the twenty ninth voter as of 7:27am
this morning and suffice to say, Humble Elias cast a proud ballot for Martha Coakley for the United States Senate. Her time has come, if not now then when if not her then who?
 
Kudos to Governor Patrick
for saying no to the Clover Club, despite all that has happened, Deval Patrick is still a change agent all of himself.
It is never too late to disregard a bad idea no matter how hallowed and traditional it may be.
If you want to get a good inventory of the usual suspects then just see who attacks the Governor because of his refusal to speak before the Clover Club...Just watch you'll get an education I assure you.
Monday, December 07, 2009
 
I was listening to Jeff Santos on 1510AM this morning...
and heard Alan Khazei repeatedly congratulate himself for landing the Boston Globe's endorsement in tomorrow's democratic senatorial primary.
Fair enough, clearly Alan "interviews well"...
But then Khazei went to lambaste the "conventional media" for overlooking the vast covert citizen-driven ground game his campaign was ramping up for primary day.
Hmmm...Last time I checked, the Boston Globe was the poster child for conventional dino-media, so what is Alan Khazei trying to tell us here?
***
BTW Jeff Santos claims to be a neutral party in this primary, my gut is though he is voting for either Capuano or Khazei, his whole meme on this thing since September has been "How can some honest incorruptible outsider overthrow the party hacks?"

Me? I'm sticking with Coakley, she is a pretty strong dose of change all in and of herself.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
 
On the other hand...

Capuano could pull it off...
Pagliuca could be fading this weekend as evidenced by his inexplicable decision to brandish the Celtic's NBA championship trophy at his campaign appearances like it was the Hammer of Thor or something. If he fades enough, the conventional wisdom seems to be some of those votes might default out to Capuano. If the turn out is light enough, Mike might pull it off depending on how serious his phonebanking has been and whether or not they've got enough voter's identified to tip a low energy race.
I think Khazei is in a race for a strong third place finish whereupon he can look around for some new sinecure to contend (Alan please note upwards to three statewide offices will be up for grabs next year...Dunno if any are a good fit, just sayin'). The man has made few enemies in this special election and can reap some harvest in high name recognition in future races.
A lot of factors come into play, even the weather, right now the forecast is for clear and cool conditions on Tuesday, advantage Coakley (I think). Martha Coakley may be too cool, too cerebral, too sacerdotal for some, but she has a definite jazzed base in Massachusetts who are determined to overthrow destiny on Tuesday.
Game on, mah frenz, game on.

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Saturday, December 05, 2009
 
Should Alan Khazei really be in this race?
IF he such a wiz at running no-profits and achieving the maximum public good out of sheer volunteerism and enthusiasm, then maybe the US Senate isn't the best place for him.
US Senators have to serve long apprenticeships, the job is level about one's pristine ten point program and more about your ability to negotiate with useless old golems like Mitch McConnell. It is hard unrewarding work and it takes a decade or more to build up the seniority you need to really influence things.
Seems to me that in all that time Alan could be extending City Year's reach, improving it's financing, founding new volunteer driven enterprises...In other words doing much more good than he could ever achieve as a freshman US Senator.
Hell, he beguiled the Boston Globe's editorial board into an endorsement, imagine those social skills at work on behalf of any number of public spirited projects.
I mean Humble Elias concedes the man has talent, I'm just not sure that talent is a good fit for the United States Senate where patience, tradition and deference to the rules are the big benchmarks.
Dollars to Donuts he'd get bored & frustrated by 2016 and take a flyer in the New Hampshire Primary whereupon we are all bound up in another Bay State Presidential melodrama...Dear Ghod lets give that one a rest shall we?

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Friday, December 04, 2009
 
I'd take Alan Beam to task for calling
AG Martha Coakley "a babe" except that Humble Elias once described Andrea Silbert (then a democratic candidate for Lt. Governor) as being "cute as a button".
As Malcolm X once huffed "The chickens have come home to roost".
However, Lynne Lupien labors under no such burden and rounds on Beam the way Ali beat down Liston.
Read it hyar:
Thursday, December 03, 2009
 
An Endorsement:
As Ghod is my witness this senatorial campaign has come off as naught but the proverbial steamroller fight, almost everyone we expected to get in fled the scene in the middle of the night and them what got in, are flailing away at each other seemingly in slow motion.
Nonetheless, there is a palpable need for leadership in the US Senate, someone who loves Massachusetts a wee bit more and someone who brings a different set of professional and life experiences to the position of Junior Senator from Massachusetts.
Therefore with this criteria in mind, it is with great pride that the Chimes at Midnight endorses Attorney General Martha Coakley as the democratic nominee for the United States Senate.
Humble Elias has long believed that the Attorney Generalcy of Massachusetts is a superb training ground for a US Senator (or a Governor for that fact), there isn't much AG Coakley hasn't covered during her tenure in public life...Time to bring those skills down to the banks of the Potomac and see what kind of business can be done.
I offer this endorsement withour rebuke to any of her rivals for this nomination, they are all good men, if one of the other three are nominated they can count on my goodwill.
Nevertheless Ms. Coakley is a practical ambitious soul, her coolness and judgement will wear well over time and what the hell she has thrown a goodly increment of brutes & thugs in jail.
Works for me!
In truth we are voting for an apprentice to Senior Senator John Kerry, someone who can adapt to the senate's mores, someone who also bring something ineffable and new to the table, someone who will be there ten years from now reliable and true to the State of Massachusetts, that someone is Martha Coakley. I urge all and sundry to vote for her next week.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
 
Note to the Laity:
There will be a Chimes at Midnight endorsement in the democratic senatorial primary tomorrow.

Humble Elias welcomes all frantic last minute attempts at persuasion, anything though that does not include appropriate gratuities will be duly read & discarded.
 
Mike Huckabee is as giddy as a
professional sky grifter can be, and it doesn't surprise me that some of the pardons he signed off on as Governor of Arkansas were of a questionable nature.
I mean, four cops get killed in a diner by someone set free by Mike Huckabee, that my friends is bad craziness in extremis.
That having been said, I think this deplorable incident will in the main, put a deep chill on any application of execute clemency or the power of pardons at the state or national level.
Between the political cost of Willy Horton and the terrible human cost of Maurice Clemmon's rampage what Governor or President is gonna take a chance on anyone's extenuating circumstances or personal reformation?
Clearly Mike Huckabee made a catastrophic mistake here, but neither he nor anyone else has a gubernatorial power of precognition, and when stuff like this happens the additional victims are those truly deserving of clemency who will now be denied it out of sheer fear of the consequences.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
 
Haymakers...
are what politicians who can taste equally victory defeat habitually throw when the closing week of the campaign arrives.
Such is the case today with Congressman Capuano who has staked all on convincing the democratic primary that AG Martha Coakley is a Cheneyite & a Falangist.
The accusation itself, that Coakley secretly loves the Patriot Act seems more than slightly desperate to Humble Elias.
Tactics like this only seem to work in Republican Primaries, where angry candidates are a dime a dozen amidst an angry base and where populism is an easily faked pose.
I can cherrfully forego the catharsis of punching some wingnut in the nose if it means carrying the day on other battlefields.
Humble Elias thinks that Congressman Capuano seems to be good at starting fights, but can he finish them on terms advantageous to the electorate?

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